Newcastle Falcons prop Rob Vickers has confirmed that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the ongoing season.
Being a one-club man, Vickers has been with Newcastle Falcons since his debut in 2008 and has racked up 260 appearances. He remained with the club even when they faced relegation in 2012 and now has played 18 out of the 21 games in this season of Aviva Premiership which saw Newcastle Falcons reach the play-off for the first time in the history.
"It's been a lot of games and years, and it's hard to put into words how much this club means to me," he said.
"I feel as though I've still been contributing to the team this season but I've always said I didn't want to stay on too long and be that player who just hangs around, and eventually falls off a cliff.
"For me this is the perfect time with the team flying high, with me still playing a genuine part, and it just feels like the moment to step aside and let someone else come through."
Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards is hoping for Vickers to sign-off on a high as they head into the knock-out games of the Premiership.
"Bobby is just an incredible person and a fabulous member of our group.
"I know the crowd will give him a huge ovation on Saturday at the Wasps game, which will be richly deserved, but with a Premiership semi-final and hopefully a final to come he still has a big part to play in the success of this club."